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Each quarter we do our best to provide you with an update on any Smilers related information, news snippets and anything else we think you might be interested in!  Full details of all new issues will appear under the New Issues menu option.

Earlier News Reports (e.g. Q1-18) are provided in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and are generally available during the first couple of weeks following the preceding quarter. Click on this link News Archive to go to the Smilers News Archive page.


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Q1 2019 

  • A Marvelous Start to 2019    

    Royal Mail's 2019 stamp programme has been officially announced and an issue scheduled for March is under strict secrecy until it's official launch on 21st February 2019.  

    What I know is that it is another mega Film/TV theme based issue with lots of products and variations for the collecting community.  Of particular interest to us here at Smilers-Info is the news that there will be at least one 10-stamp generic Smilers sheet featuring these new stamps with additional imagery on the labels and backgrounds. The TV/Film theme has not been announced to the Philatelic Trade but rumors abound with some even claiming to have seen these new stamps at local post offices. However, I am sure we shall all marvel at the designs and collectibles when these are officially announced next week! (16/02) 

  • The Bear Facts!    

    A regular to these columns contacted me yesterday with news of an apparent "new find" based on the Paddington Bear generic sheet from 2006 (GS-030).

    In an e-mail to me I was asked if I was aware of ....

    ".... a newly discovered Paddington Bear Sheet which had a printing of 200 Sheets although 190 were used for postage leaving 10 available to Collectors. Every Label is over-printed with the Anniversary and there are additional 'bear paw' footsteps and information."

    My response was concise and to the point -No!

    I did provide the contribuytor with my opinion which I will share with readers (see below). However a liitle more by way of context was added by another reader ealier today who advised me that these sheets (3 of them) had been sold on eBay for an undisclosed amount but that they had originally been offered by eBay seller BFDC1947 from Leicester (Rings a bell!) for £200.00 each!  An amazing mark- up on sheet that originally cost less than £7.00!  Click on the image above to see the completed eBay listing and form your own opinion. 

    In my humble opinion for what it's worth - frankly I don’t believe a word of it. Someone  is trying to pass on a number of overprinted generic sheets and make some easy money with a questionable story.  If 190 sheets were used for postage then you would expect at least one of the 3800 stamps to turn up on ebay in kiloware!  Sorry, but I won't be  buying it, listing it and I certainly don't buy the story! I suggest you do the same. Caveat Emptor!! (16/02)

  • Happy Chinese New Year    

    A belated Happy Chinese New Year for yesterday and I hope all my readers have a great year! As reported earlier, I have produced a Themed Smilers sheet and Commemorative Cover and both are now in stock and available for purchase.  Both items are in my eBay shop so please take a look at the various selection of themed Smilers sheets and covers on offer, which may differ from my routine stock. Here's the cover I have produced to welcome in the Year of the Pig. (06/02)

  • Halley's Comet 00001     

    Mark Brandon has been in touch to let me know about a rather unique Commemorative Stamp Sheet Pack from Royal Mail.  The Halley's Comet Commemorative Stamp Pack was issued in May 2010, just in time for London 2010, and as these were still in their infancy Royal Mail numbered these individually, a practice that has since evaporated in recent years!

    Mark Brandon has advised that a sheet with Serial Number 00001 is available to purchase from him priced £750.00 and if interested readers are requested to make contact with Mark by e-mailing him at: mark@regalstamps.co.uk (06/02)  

  • Kettering Stamp & Philatelic Society    

    RM, an eagle-eyed contributor to this column, spotted a hitherto unseen Smilers item on eBay earlier today and gave me a call to alert me to the find, for which I am very grateful. It has allowed me to share the following rare snippet of Smilers news. 

    The Kettering Stamp & Philatelic Society celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year and have produced a presentation pack featuring two personalised Smilers stamps.

    The club originally planned to do a pack to be given free to all of their members as a thank-you along with a selection of covers and generic sheets to sell, to raise funds for the club. Two sheets of both the Penny Red and Penny Black Smilers stamps were produced initially last year for committee review and approval. However when the Club decided to order a further 30 sheets of each Royal Mail had stopped accepting new orders.  As a result they decided to produce 20 Presentation Packs containing one of each stamp and tab, 20 years so 20 packs at £20 each to raise funds for the club.

    The club also produced 10 souvenir covers of each design with a local Kettering postmark, although I understand there are very few of these left.

    Finally, the club also made available a small quantity of single Smilers stamps sold in plastic bags as follows.

     

    The presentation packs are priced at £20 each, the covers are priced at £3 each and the single stamps are priced at £2.50 all of which are available from the club whilst stocks last.  If interested please e-mail James Dickinson in the first instance (click on link) who will confirm pricing and availability. (20/01)

  • Lunar New Year - Year of the Pig Themed Smilers Sheet    

    Following on from the past couple of years I have produced a limited edition themed sheet commemorating the Lunar New Year, Year of the Pig. As with last year I hope to produce a First Day Cover in February using these Smilers stamps/labels but that will be dependant on the availability  of a suitable special hand-stamp marking the event, details of which have yet to be announced, more later.  For those interested in collecting the sheet here it is!

    TS-572

    As with the previous item I have a very few sheets available for purchase priced £39.95 each including p+p, and again due to limited availability I am offering these on a first come, first served basis. If interested please send me an e-mail to confirm your interest. (12/01) 

  • Isle of Pabay Winter 2018 - Themed Smilers Sheet    

    The Isle of Pabay Themed Smilers sheet for 2018 is out and this year it features an image used for an Isle of Pabay 75p local stamp.

    TS-571

    With a change in Royal Mail's policy this year increasing the minimum order number of personalised themed sheets to c. 40 we believe, it may well be the last themed sheet from Isle of Pabay folks, let's hope that Royal Mail relax this policy going forward. 

    The interesting thing about this sheet is that Royal Mail have reverted to stocks of Glorious Scotland with the Rampant Lion stamp rather than the Saltire flag which appeared unannounced a couple of years back.  Could it be that Royal Mail stocks are being wound down by Royal Mail and as soon as they have been used up,  that will trigger the end of the personalised formats? Only time will tell!

    I have a very few sheets available for purchase priced £49.95 each including p+p, as usual due to limited availability I am offering these on a first come, first served basis. If interested please send me an e-mail to confirm your interest. (12/01) 

  • Spring STAMPEX Smilers announced    

    As the delights of Christmas gently recede into our memories for yet another year it's time to look forward to 2019 and all the delights that the year holds!  The PTS have  announced their forthcoming Spring STAMPEX exhibition Business Customised Smilers sheet which will be available for purchase from the Spring STAMPEX event, to be held as usual at the Business Design Centre 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH, during the period 13-16 February 2019.   

     

    This years theme is classic stamps of the world, to coincide with Royal Mail's classic British Stamps issue in January.  I am sure you will join me in complementing the PTS for the foresight to order these before Royal Mail closed the Business Customised Stamp service in 2018.   We will be stocking these sheets priced £21.95 incl. p+p (UK) £25.00 (worldwide) so if interested please e-mail your requirements. (27/12)

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                                    Last updated: February 17, 2019